"That's your boss, Blaire?" Alicia, my best friend, asked from my bed. She stared at my phone, while resting on her belly with her feet in the air. "This is one drop-dead luscious male, Blaire Summers. I'm totally jelly right now."
I turned around to face her, leaning back against my vanity table and folding my arms over my chest. The midnight black dress I wore hit my knees, but flattered my shape, and showcased my shapely legs.
The nightclub we planned to go to was upscale, but I'd been there so many times they knew me by name. Alicia wasn't as brazen as I was with men—or flirty—but she loved to go dance and let loose after a long week working at the district attorney's office.
"I know, Alicia, but he is one stick in the mud, and you know those types drive me up the wall."
Alicia swung her legs from my bed and handed my phone back to me. "Yeah, but I'd let him do a lot of things to me against a wall, Blaire. Tell me he's single?"
I nodded. "He's single—so he says—which makes sense because he's completely uptight, and I can't imagine a woman sleeping in his bed every night, and him be that wound up."
She walked over and fluffed her blonde hair in my mirror, and popped her lips. "If I were you …"
"No," I said, shoving from the vanity, I walked over and grabbed my heels. "He's my boss, and even though I thought about finding another job, I like this one for many reasons."
Alicia chuckled. "Yeah, his first name is Luther and his last name is Reed. That's all the reason you need, Sugar."
I didn't argue with her, mostly because you'd have to be blind not to find him attractive. Luther Reed looked like he was pluck straight from Greek Mythology, given a killer modern haircut and tossed to the wolves of this world—the single women in this city desperate to find a decent man.
"Let's go," I said with a chuckle. "I'm dying for a drink."
When we arrived at Club Vanity, it looked like the entire city was crammed inside. The smell of heavy liquor, greasy appetizers and sweaty bodies filtered through the packed club as we made our way to a corner booth that still had empty beer bottles from the previous guest.
"It's bumping tonight," Alicia said flagging down a server and ordering us a drink.
"Freaks come out at night," I said, smiling as Alicia rolled her eyes. "You know there is a new club opening down town really soon. I saw the construction site a few weeks ago. We'll have to check it out once they get it up and running."
Alicia grabbed one of the beers our server brought over. "You know I'm up for an adventure."
We drank our drinks leisurely, while laughing at some of the younger kids dancing, and talking about our workweek. Once we made it to the dance floor, I felt the one drink moving me to a beat that freed me from my problems.
I wasn't worried about the eviction notice, or the way my boss' mouth made my thighs quiver, I let all of it go and swayed to the music.
Half an hour later, I felt my drink hit my bladder, and I found Alicia dancing with some random guy. "I'm going to the bathroom," I said into her ear. "Come get me if you don't see me come back."
She gave me a thumbs up, before I shoved my way through the packed crowd toward the bathroom on the second floor. The spiral staircase led me upward toward the VIP section, and a set of bathrooms that were nicer than the first floor.
I walked into the ladies room, and relieved myself, washing my hands and drying them with the fancy air dryer.
The music had changed to something slower when I exited the bathroom and stumbled into someone that caught me around the waist. It felt familiar—almost too familiar, and then I realized why when I glanced up.
Axel Davers smiled down at me. The shadows of the flickering lights shaded his face, showing his sharp jaw and dark eyes. "We have to stop meeting like this," he said.
I chuckled, standing up straight and crossed my arms over my chest. "Well, if it isn't Axel Davers. What a surprise. I wouldn’t think you'd slum it with the average joe's of the city."
He chuckled, shifting his weight, I noticed he wore a pair of dark wash jeans and a shirt that looked more expensive than my apartment. "Well, what kind of owner would I be if I didn't show up and slum it with the townies every once in a while?"
I quirked an eyebrow. "Owner, well aren't we fancy?"
Axel smirked, and gestured toward the VIP section to the right. "I have a room if you're interested in joining my brother and I."
The thought of drinking the night away with free drinks sounded appealing. But there was something about the twinkle in this man's eye that didn't sit right with me. He was gorgeous—almost too much for his own good—but something felt off about him.
A man stepped around the corner of the VIP area, and glanced my way. He looked oddly like Axel, so I assumed it was his brother. He winked at me, and for the first time in forever, I felt unease around a handsome man.
Maybe it was a sixth sense, or all those Ted Bundy documentaries and movies I'd watched, but something just didn't feel right. I opened my mouth to decline when Axel's shoulders stiffened, and I sensed his unease. I followed his line of sight behind me to see Scott—Luther's brother—standing there.
"Oh, hey," I said. "What are you doing here?"
His usual calm demeanor vanished, and he reached out and tugged me behind him. "Go outside," he said softly.
Much more softly than his brother ever spoke to me, but with much authority. I didn't question him since I currently had the heebie jeebies. I hurried down the spiral staircase, through the crowd to tell Alicia I was stepping outside for a moment, and then into the dampened night.
I hadn't realized it'd began to rain since we got there, so I used the awning as an umbrella. The front door opened several minutes later, and Scott walked out into the moonlit sidewalk.
He was the starch opposite of Luther in every way, but tonight, he looked pissed—at me.
"What's going on?" I asked.
Scott pursed his lips and his eyes dragged down the busy sidewalk full of other clubs, restaurants and bars.
"Why are you here?" he asked, slicking his palm back over his blond hair.
I gave him a crazy look. "Isn't it obvious? To dance. To party like it's 1999."
"You shouldn't come to this club anymore, Blaire. Axel Davers is a snake in the grass, and he seems to have a thing for you."
Despite my bad feeling, I asked, "What's wrong with that? Is he married?"
"No. He's a jackass, and dangerous. He's tied to many bad things in this city."
I popped my hip to the side. "Then why are you here?"
He slid his tongue across his teeth. "I saw you come in here from the corner when I was on my phone."I wasn't buying it, but I had no proof.
"If you want to go out come to Club Wolf down the street."
"Oh," I said. "We go there all the time. We just alternate to keep the scene fresh. Wait a minute—why there?"
"My brother owns it," he said quickly. "And I think you should get your friend and come now. I don't want you here … and neither will Luther."
My gaze narrowed to slits. "Listen, I understand obeying my boss's rules during work hours, but he isn't my dad. I don't have to do everything he says outside of work, too. This isn't some kind of sick daddy-daughter thing where he controls me. I didn't sign a contract."
The corner of his mouth turned up into a smirk. "Sure. Go get your friend. I'll wait on you."
I hurried inside to find Alicia in the corner making out with the same guy, and I felt like a complete cock-block interrupting. "We need to leave. Can you ask your friend to come down to Club Wolf with us?"
She gave me a dirty look but nodded, and tugged him out of the door. Scott waited on me as he promised, and gave Alicia a onceover when she walked outside behind me.
"Who is this?" Alicia asked, half-baked from her alcohol intake for the night. I could tell her guy friend had fed her more drinks after I went to the bathroom.
What a charmer.
"This is Luther's brother, Scott. This is Alicia, my friend."
Scott didn't look amused, but gave her a clipped nod.
"I'm Brett." The guy beside her, had his arm wrapped around her shoulder, and a goofy grin on his face.
"Of course you are," I said pinching his cheek. "Let's go. The rain is going to ruin my knockoffs."
Club Wolf was more classy than Club Vanity, but still raving any weekend you came. The servers weren't dressed as scantily, and the place was kept in prestige condition. The frat boys with daddy's wallet came here, bought expensive drinks and took any willing girl back to their condos.
Scott opened the door for us, and I immediately noticed the air smelled cleaner here than before. For a brief moment, I thought I smelled Luther's cologne, which was stupid, and I knew my mind was playing tricks on me.
He did own it, but I'd never seen him here before.
What did he do? Spray down his club with his cologne? The thought made me laugh, because he was so anal retentive, that he might just do it—or pay someone else to do it.
I headed toward the bar, finding a good seat, and ordering me a dirty martini. The drinks were superb, and I really didn't have the extra money to buy it, but one more for the night wouldn’t hurt.
Alicia made her way to some corner with the guy she brought over, and I noticed Scott had disappeared, leaving me alone. I guessed he trusted the security guards and the uppity riffraff in the place more than Club Vanity.
I sipped my drink, looking around at the neon glowing tables, the square chairs, and the wall-length aquariums used as walls. I'd give Luther one thing—he knew how to decorate.
I glanced over at a guy a few years younger than me, leaning against the bar with a sly smile. "Want to dance?" he asked.
He seemed harmless enough, so I jumped off the stool, chugged my drink and let him lead me to the dance floor. Some old 90s rap song filtered through the place, making everyone clap, while I turned and pressed myself against the stranger to dance my heart out.
Sweat gathered at my hairline, and trickled down my neck to the top of my dress. The guy behind me—dark haired and kind of goofy to be honest—couldn't hold a beat. He swayed off beat; maybe due to the alcohol he drank—or maybe just being a white boy with no rhythm, either way, it made me laugh.
The music turned slower, and the guy swayed dramatically to the left, almost tripping. "You okay?" I laughed. "You need to go sit down."
He chuckled, and slurred something before staggering toward the nearest seat. I laughed, and turned to go find Alicia when another random guy stopped and asked if I wanted to dance.
I shrugged, knowing this was what I came here for—to dance, and have a good time. No ties, just drinks and dancing. My Mom said I should have outgrown this stage of my life by now, but I didn’t see the harm in letting lose and relieving myself of any anxieties.
We danced to the slower rhythm, his big arms wrapped around my waist, him laughing at the people moving offbeat beside us.
I turned to laugh with him when I caught sight of the floor-level VIP room next to us. It was dark, but the huge glass window showcased the people sitting on plush sofas with champagne and what looked like fancy appetizers.
Alicia and I never bought any food at this club because they were pricey. We normally flirted our way into numerous drinks.
But the fancy cheese samplers, and the expensive champagne wasn't the object that drew my attention. It was the looming figure standing on the other side, one palm braced against the wall, and the other shoved down into his pants pocket.
My body hummed at the sight of him, because I knew by those wide shoulders and broad chest who he was without seeing his face.
The guy behind me whispered something into my ear, but I couldn't be bothered with it, because I loved the way he watched me. Purposefully, I swayed myself at a more attractive rhythm, running my fingertips into the length of my hair that cascaded down my back.
It wasn’t the smartest thing I'd ever done, seducing my boss, but I hated that he thought he was better than me. That ivory thrown he sat in needed a chip or two, and maybe, just maybe, he'd untightened the reigns he had on his life.
What would it hurt if he broke a rule and kissed me—or even lusted after someone? He was single. I was single. I turned circles, dancing more by myself than with the stranger, but when I caught sight of the window again—it was empty.
I shrugged it off, even though my lame attempt at catching Luther's attention failed, I was having a good time. Ten minutes later, I broke away from my dance partner to check on Alicia and find the closest bathroom.
My bladder and these drinks weren't what they use to be. The second-floor bathroom was vacant when I walked inside and shut the stall door. Once I finished, I walked to the sink to wash my hands, and stared at myself in the mirror. I looked better than I imagined looking after dancing for what seemed like hours—
The bathroom door opened behind me. I looked over in the mirror and saw his icy blue eyes staring back at me. He looked too good in his casual button-down and dark wash jeans. Even on the weekends he dressed like a casual Friday at work.
Something about his eyes struck me as odd—they looked lighter, almost transparent.
"What are you doing in here?" I asked. "Finding an excuse to check the bathrooms to get a peepshow?" I asked, turning and watching as his gaze lift from my butt to my gaze.
Slowly, he reached over and locked the door to the restroom, his thick throat moved as he swallowed and took a step toward me.
"Blaire. Blaire. Blaire. You're going to be a problem aren't you?"
I didn't think I was the problem, however, the tension settling between us like an active volcano on the other hand—that was a problem.
My wolf's chuckle vibrated deep inside of me, pushing me further onto the line that separated my irrational and rational thoughts. This was my club—I was the owner—and cornering a woman in the privacy of the women's bathroom wasn't rational. No—and neither was the thoughts my wolf forced fed my mind at the moment. That smug look on her face, the shape of that dress, and the ungodly way her dancing with another man made me feel, all crashed down on me at once, snapping my ability to stop myself. Now I was in trouble. I'd locked the bathroom door, barricading myself in a small space with the woman I'm destined to spend my life with. Even if I didn't want her—I wanted her. "Blaire. Blaire. Blaire. You're going to be a problem aren't you?" The pulse in Blaire's neck throbbed to a quick beat, showcasing her nerves when they didn't show on her face. "I don't see a problem," she said nonchalantly. "If you ignore the fact that you're in the girl's bathroom that is." I stood a foot in fr
I slid into the booth at the bakery across the street, and sipped my iced coffee. It'd been a long week with Luther, and his agonizing stare. For someone that thought our kiss was a mistake, he sure got riled up over nothing. His temper tiptoed on the border of obsessive, in fact, his entire personality screamed possessive and … alpha. I knew he was in charge, and probably didn't enjoy my smart mouth, or my sarcasm, but he did care about what I did and I wasn't entirely sure on why? It went beyond my position as his assistant. He wanted to control me, and my life, and it screamed controlling older boyfriend, but … I felt it was for a different reason, I just didn't know why yet. I sucked to the bottom of my coffee, and peeled the paper off my cupcake, taking a big unladylike bite of it. After our kiss, that was a completely different story in itself, because I'd never been kissed like that before. Every fiber in my body yearned for him after he stormed out of the bathroom, like my
Scotch had become my best friend, ever since Blaire stumbled into my office that day. I'd been on an emotional roller coaster from the moment I met my mate. I knew having a mate wasn’t what it was cracked up to be. That's why I went thirty plus years without looking for her. She was infuriating. Her dark hair tempted me from the opposite side of the plane where she doodled on a notepad, and hummed along to some song in her head. I loved the length, and how the soft waves cascaded down her shoulder, while she bit her lip. I replayed her kiss in my mind so many times it felt permanently engrained in my brain waves. I tossed back the rest of the amber liquor in my glass, the ice rattling as I sat it down in my cup holder, and leaned back to cradle my head. It had been a mistake to ask Blaire to come, I knew better, but when she tried to force Stephanie on me, I couldn't help but to counteract. That was my problem. I was the alpha, and I hated her disobedience. I loathed it. My wolf
The look on Luther's face when I told him about my dream scared me. It wasn't what I expected. As an adult, you assume a nightmare wouldn't scare another adult, but this one turned his face ashen. His wide shoulders tensed, and his blue eyes turned that dark color I'd noticed in his office. "He stood on two legs?" he asked. I swiped the sweat that had gathered from my hairline with the back of my hand. "Yeah, I know it's weird. I need to get me a glass of water. I'll be right—,"Luther stood up. "I'll get it." He marched over toward the mini-fridge and snagged a bottle. "Here," he said, sitting back down. I noticed that he didn't have a shirt on, and my cheeks burned hot at the sight. He looked even sexier being that it was night, and his eyes were hooded from sleep. "What else happened in the dream?" I unscrewed the cap and stared at him. He seemed very interested in my dream. I sucked down half the bottle and sat it on the night stand. "I don't know, Luther, it's just a dream. Don
She laid with her back to the couch, curled into a ball and I sensed every time she thought about our night, every time a rush of adrenaline coursed through her. I knew she wasn't asleep, but I couldn’t say I knew, because it would confuse her. In fact, everything in the upcoming weeks would confuse Blaire. Go join her, my wolf coaxed. I rolled my eyes, and placed my forearm over my eyes in attempt to drown myself of all emotion. Everything about the night replayed in my mind like a never-ending slideshow. Her soft touch made my body purr, and it scared me. No woman had ever done that to me. I pressed my eyes closed tightly; praying for sleep, but it never came. I knew a mate bond was strong, but nothing prepared me for this. When sunlight hit the window the next morning, I was up and making coffee in the small kitchen. Blaire was half-asleep; her mouth opened slightly, one arm hanging off the bed. I wanted to join her, kiss and bite every square inch of her body until she begged
Alicia: Where did you go? Come back and drink with me? Both of the guys left. No one wants to have fun tonight. I shoved my phone back into the depths of my pocket, and ignored Alicia's rant. I loved the girl, but there was more to life than drinking and partying every weekend. I'd spent my afternoon paying my landlord back rent, and eating Ben and Jerry's while being depressed that over half of my check was gone. At least I had somewhere to be depressed. Then Alicia showed up with Jory, and Axel to make matters worse. I told her I wasn't in the mood, but being Alicia, she persuaded me to let them in for a while. Which made me uncomfortable. The way Axel stared at me made my spine stiffen, and I was a laidback person. If someone made me uncomfortable, they were freaking weird. What were the chances of Jory hitting it off with Alicia of all people, and Axel tagging along? It was conspicuous, and I had no one to call but Luther, who showed up within minutes with his fury in tow. "Th
"Control yourself," I hissed to my wolf. He'd become nearly incontrollable when Blaire followed me into my bedroom. The simple scent of her skin had me undone. I'd told her the truth, because I knew she wouldn't move across the hallway if I didn't. Besides pissing herself, she took it—okay-ish. I wasn't sure if this was a façade yet, and she waited for me to turn my head so she could run for it. She knew she wouldn't make it far. Blaire stopped at the bathroom door, her gaze transfixed on my lavish bathroom with the overhanging showerhead and expensive granite countertops. I slipped up behind her, skimming my hot mouth against the smooth path of her neck. "I never knew a mate would make me feel like this?" Blaire chuckled, clutching the granite countertop in front of her, our gazes locked in the mirror. "You didn't look for me?" I didn't want to put my foot in my mouth, but she deserved the truth. I gripped her hips, and lifted her to the cabinet. "Honestly, no. I didn't want a
By the look on Luther's face, I figured it would be bad. His shoulders tensed, and his grip tightened around my wrist. "Stay by me," he hissed. I gave him an are you okay look before stepping out of the car. The ranch style house was beautiful, with a wraparound porch, overflowing ferns, and magnolia trees in the yard. Who I assumed was his mother, met him halfway, her smile reached her blue eyes, and her graying hair was pulled into a stylish bun. "Darling, I'm so glad to see you," she said, pinching his cheeks as if he wasn't this powerful alpha of their pack. I loved it. Her steely gaze shifted to mine, and her smile brightened. "I'm so sorry that I'm not more prepared for your arrival. Luther didn't tell me that you were coming," she said, giving him an eye roll. "What's your name, Lovely?" "I'm Blaire Summers. It's nice to meet you …" "I'm Barbara—you can call me Barbie. I'm so thrilled Luther has found his mate," he gaze dropped to my neck. "I see you haven't been marked